Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abortive Policy: Harpo & Aboriginal MP Rod Bruinooge

[as originally posted 12/30/08 on my formerly free thinking blog ]

Conservative officials were quick to denounce any suggestion that the government will reopen the abortion debate...a day after one of their backbenchers re-opened it.

Faced with a recent national Tory body resolution that was eerily similar to an earlier Tory private members bill (Bill C-484) that would have made harming or killing
a fetus an "indictable offence," Harpo's Gong-Show government is desperate to demonstrate it does not support any measure that would give a fetus legal status. And, as they have done since they were conspiring to drop September's writ, Harpo & co. are trying to hide the nut-jobs in their caucus closet. But silencing their reactionary wing may be easier said than done.

True, during the fall campaign, the anti-abortionist Tory element was kept in check. And the government did distance itself from Bill C-484 by saying it would introduce a different bill "that would make pregnancy an aggravating factor for judges to consider when sentencing." As Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said at the time, the wording of the bill would leave "no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

Well, that was then; and this is now.

Now, Winnipeg South Tory MP Rod "I'm-Aboriginal-so-I-care-more" Bruinooge wants to make the issue his personal pet project. This, as the Justice Minister's spin doctors refuse to comment on the status of the promised phantom bill, or whether the government is even still planning to go ahead with it. Such reticence is understandable - there is no political upside for the Tories on this one.

In fact, Bruinooge is giving credence to charges that his ill-timed initiative will hurt Harper this coming session by by bizarrely hinging his pro-life cause on the beneficial effect it would have on Canada's birth rate (our "natural community growth"), saying: "obviously, the greater number of terminated pregnancies there are the greater the population decline." The only thing that Bruinooge has demonstrated - other than his stupidity - is that he can do rudimentary math. But what a way to do it!

We shudder to think what might come out of his mouth next. Perhaps a proposal to establish internment camps for young girls a la The Handmaid's Tale? While we have some respect for reasoned anti-abortionists (assuming there are some) who place their commitment to the sanctity of the unborn life front and center in the debate, we find Bruinooge's bizzaro anti-Malthusian argument simply absurd and a bit worrisome.

Bruinooge's pathetic pandering in playing the "Aboriginal" card, makes it all the more reprehensible. As if, by virtue of his aboriginal background, he prizes human life more than those from Canada's other diverse cultural communities? If this hammerhead knew any of the history of what some aboriginal groups did with their young during times of privation he might well reconsider this ridiculous assertion. And, as for the contemporary needs of "his people", we agree with others who hope that his "uniqueness" will also help him deal with high rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome within "his" communities, an issue which is far more pressing than his chairing of a pro-life caucus. Bruinooge's priorities are seriously misplaced.

Meanwhile, the issue has led the Mensa-minions at the National Post to divine that Harpo's current strategy revolves around his desire to avoid anything that smacks of controversy. Talk about insight!

More to the point, what Harpo & co. most fear is that the electorate will be exposed to a controversy that belies the reactionary agenda of many sitting Tory MP's. And, in this instance, it seems Harpo is willing to take any and all measures to abort this far-right Tory initiative before it grows any more legs.

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